By: Samantha Gray
While power couples might be wealthy and influential in their respective fields today, many met back before either had a big career going. In fact, there are many famous couples who met while in college, either by having classes together, knowing mutual friends, or a chance encounter at a party. These couples have often carried their romance through quite a bit as they’ve built businesses and professional careers and navigated the perils of being in the spotlight. While not all college romances last, read on to learn about some big names who are still with their college sweethearts.
There are few couples that are known as well worldwide as this duo. The royal couple met while attending the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and one royal biographer described their first meeting as being pretty awkward (she curtsied, he spilled his drink on himself). The two started off as friends, even sharing an apartment together with a couple of other school chums, before they began dating in 2002. After dating for seven years off and on, the pair was married in 2010 while millions watched the event live on TV. Today, they’re one of the best-known and most widely recognized couples in the world.
Bill, originally from Arkansas, and Hillary have endured their share of scandals during their marriage, including a particularly notable one involving an intern, but they are still going strong nearly 37 years later. The Clintons have both had pretty illustrious careers, with both former lawyers taking on high-profile political positions, he as president and governor and she as Secretary of State and senator. The two met while attending Yale Law School in Connecticut where they dated for a few years before tying the knot in 1975.
There must be something in the water at Arizona. The fashion-savvy will recognize these names immediately, as they are behind one of the most popular brands in fashion, Kate Spade, a Missouri native, and Jack Spade. Kate and Andy met back when they were students at Arizona State University and would later marry after starting the Kate Spade brand together with almost no funding in 1993. The iconic handbags Kate designed helped launch their business and won the duo numerous design awards. They have since sold the brand to retailer Neiman Marcus (netting them nearly $100 million) but remain well-known names in the fashion business.
This comedic couple has been together since before either had an established career. While Julia might be the household name in the couple, Brad has been working for decades behind the scenes as a comedy writer and both rose to prominence in the early ’80s with a stint on Saturday Night Live. The funny pair met while attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and has appeared not only on SNL together but also on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. They have been married since 1987 and have two children together.
With parents who also met in college, it’s no surprise that this former first daughter also met her husband while a student. Both Chelsea and Marc come from political families, though hers is perhaps more well-known than his (both of his parents were senators), and both have highly successful careers of their own, her as a journalist and he on Wall Street. The two first met at a retreat in South Carolina before Clinton would attend college, as Mezvinsky was already a student at Stanford and many believe it was this early friendship that motivated Clinton to choose Stanford for her own college education. The two kept their dating under wraps while at school, and didn’t openly admit to being a couple until both had graduated in 2007.
Mark Zuckerberg is one of the biggest names in tech today, having made a fortune with the now ubiquitous site Facebook. Before he was a tech superstar, however, he was just a regular student at Harvard. It was there that he met his current girlfriend Priscilla Chan. The pair met at a party while waiting in line for the bathroom, with Chan describing Zuckerberg as “this nerdy guy who was just a little bit out there.” After Zuckerberg left Harvard to work on Facebook he offered her a job at the tech company and she accepted. The rest is history, as the couple now lives together and still works together at the billion dollar company he founded.
When it comes to popular literature, there are few names that loom as large as Stephen King’s. He’s written numerous novels, short stories, and other works during his career and is one of the most successful authors of all time in terms of sales. His wife has had a successful writing career as well, though perhaps not as high profile as her husband’s. The couple met while students at the University of Maine in Orono. Tabitha had a work-study job at the school’s library and met Stephen, originally from when he came in. The couple began dating and had their first child together in 1970, the same year they graduated.
There aren’t many celebrities who are married to college sweethearts, but this star of movies and TV is an exception. Elizabeth Banks met Max Handelman at the University of Pennsylvania on their first day of school in the fall of 1992. They dated throughout college and beyond, marrying in 2003 after more than 10 years of dating. Today, both Banks and Handelman have thriving careers. She’s well-known for her acting and he’s a successful sportswriter and producer.
British novelist Zadie Smith has written a number of award-winning and highly successful novels as has her novelist and poet husband Nick Laird. These literary superstars met while attending Cambridge, where both majored in English. The two married in 2004 and now have one child together.
Einstein enrolled in a mathematics and physics program at Zurich Polytechnic in 1896. It was there that he would meet his first wife, Mileva Maric, who was also enrolled in the school as the only woman in the program. Over the next few years of school, their relationship would change from friendship to romance, and they would marry after graduation in 1903. On a scandalous note (at the time), the two had their first child before they were married and would go on to have two more children before separating in 1914 and later divorcing. Some historians believe that Maric helped Einstein write his famous 1905 papers, but the issue has never, nor will likely ever, be put to rest.